Crusaders: Ex-Birmingham City and Derry City striker Ronan Hale signs Seaview deal

Ronan Hale with Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter following completion of his move. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Ronan Hale with Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter following completion of his move. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Ronan Hale has returned to Crusaders following completion of a two-and-a-half-year deal with the defending Danske Bank Premiership champions.

Hale, who spent last season on loan at Derry City, initially left the Crusaders Football Development Centre programme to join Birmingham City.

His brother, Rory, is also now on the books at Seaview as part of an ambitious January transfer window by Crues boss Stephen Baxter.

“I am excited to add Ronan to an already superb set of strikers and I believe he will make a massive impact as we enter the second half of the season,” said Baxter on the club’s official website. “He is a lad that has it all - from strength, speed and an eye for goal and supporters are in for an absolute treat when they see him play.

“He has teamed up with his brother Rory, with whom he played with at Derry City and, of course, he will know Gerard Doherty and Rory Patterson also.

“All have played together and that will help them a lot.”

It is a move Hale described as a show of “faith” from the Belfast club.

“I am very pleased to come back to Crusaders and would like to thank Stephen and the club for showing faith in me on signing me back,” said Hale on the club’s official website. “I cannot wait to get going now and I know I have a job to do to hold down a spot but I want to show everyone what I can do.

“To play alongside Crusaders’ record goalscorer in Jordan Owens and a professional like Rory Patterson will only help me develop also.”

Hale will feature as part of the matchday squad for Crusaders’ Danske Bank Premiership game at Newry City AFC on Friday night.